Page:Hunger (Hamsun).djvu/189

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173
Hunger

my eyes upon a certain spot in the wall, where a little bell is suspended to a leather collar, and underneath this a bundle of string, and I stand and stare at these things.

The shop-boy is struck by the idea that I want to have a chat as I take my time so leisurely, and says, as he tidies a lot of wrapping-papers strewn over the counter:

"It looks as if we were going to have winter now!"

"Humph! Yes," I reply; "it looks as if we were going to have winter in earnest now; it looks like it," and a while after, I add: "Ah, well, it is none too soon."

I could hear myself speak, but each word I uttered struck my ear as if it were coming from another person. I spoke absolutely unwittingly, involuntarily, without being conscious of myself.

"Oh, do you think so?" says the boy.

I thrust the hand with the money into my pocket, turned the door-handle, and left. I could hear that I said good-night, and that the shop-boy replied to me.

I had gone a few paces away from the shop when the shop-door was torn open, and the boy called after me. I turned round